Tor Issues on Windows Device


I ran across a few issues when trying to configure Tor on my Windows device.

First issue. I can’t get the Tor service to run. I followed the guide, created the service successfully, however, I got a failed error when trying to run it. See below

Second Issue/Question: Due to the issue above, I just tried accessing my server directly in the Tor Browser. After connecting to the Tor Network, I pasted in my server’s .onion address and was met with the below warning. I know I can click “Advanced” and accept the risk and it will work, but I wanted to be sure the warning wasn’t a sign of a true security threat/risk

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and appreciate any help that can be offered!

It looks like you maybe added the incorrect flag -ntservice instead of -nt-service

If not, then please report back and we can run through the process and troubleshoot a little more.

For the second question, the latest version of StartOS supports https for the UI over Tor, so this is to be expected inside Tor Browser as it’s not looking for your trusted CA - you can safely proceed, or use http.


Great catch! I’m not sure how that happened, as I thought I copied and pasted the code from the guide, but it is now working! Will this stay running after a restart?

One more follow-up question. I currently use and prefer Vivaldi Browser. I know they aren’t fully FOSS, but their team really does seem dedicated to privacy and I love their UI and the fact their Android app has real tabs! Anywho, with Tor running as a service, am I able to configure Vivaldi to access onion sites? Or can I only do that in Firefox?

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Yep, as a service it will run continuously in the background and on startup.

From what I can tell from a brief search, Vivaldi is pretty much against Tor but there is also apparently some kind of extension in their extension library that allows access to it (so I’ve read someone say).

Other than the word “Tor”, you could search for “Onion” and see what comes up. If there is something, then it might create it’s own Tor connection and you wouldn’t need the service. You’ll have to give it a go. But we recommend Firefox.

Ok, I’ll probably just use Firefox for Tor needs. I was reading how their privacy policy/EULA have progressively got worse over the years and while they are still FOSS, they collect/use your personal data now more then ever. Would like to hear your thoughts on that.

One more question regarding the Tor service. Does only .onion site traffic get routed over the Tor network when the service is running, or will all traffic being routed through Tor?

We owe a lot to Mozilla and to Firefox, and it’s still the best of the bunch I suppose. But probably fair to also criticize. There are things that can be turned off, configured and intercepted if you really want to.

Running the service and setting up the browser correctly will route onion sites over Tor but leave other traffic untouched. You’d be able to tell if everything was going over Tor as it’d would be a much slower experience.

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Have you tried LibreWolf? It is a Firefox fork with some more respect for privacy. I use this daily and I like it a lot.

I have not, but will check it out! Thanks for the suggestion. What are your guy’s thoughts on Vivaldi? Is it a non-starter since it’s not FOSS? It seems like privacy is their northstar and I love their UI (especially how their Android app has regular tabs like desktop browsers), but I understand that convenience often needs relinquished for security and privacy.

I personally do not use anything with a Chrome base, since we are in danger of a complete monopoly, but Start9 has no stance on the browser you use. We only recommend Firefox-based browsers because they have the most freedom and functionality in relation to our servers.

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Gotcha. Thanks for that perspective! Once you guys master StartOS, maybe you can build the browser everyone’s been waiting for! Until then, it appears Firefox-based browsers are the best choice, with the least amount of trust required.

We may one day. If we did though, it would likely be a FF/LW fork as well. Browsers are monstrous pieces of software these days.

So I have the same situation, but I think I’m entered correctly. Can you guide me from here?

Hey there @burtronn, thanks for posting. The detail that stands out is that you are getting the The specified service already exists error message.

That error is covered in the Running Tor on Windows docs, toward the bottom of the page:

If you get the error “The specified service already exists," complete the following steps: …

Did you already attempt that troubleshooting path or not yet? If not I would suggest it. Hope this helps.

@Jeremy Yes, I have ran through the process of deleting and re downloading 5-6 times. I will try another time here with fresh eyes and report back.

“Tor Browser does not have permission to access the profile. Please adjust your file system permissions and try again.”

Can you direct me how to deal with Tor not being in the suggested download folder under “users” I think I read something about this days ago.

I was getting this error, after installation with Chocolatey, when trying to start Tor Browser:

Tor Browser does not have permission to access the profile.

I tried changing permissions on C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\lib\tor-browser\tools\tor-browser\Browser\ and similar, as recommended here and there, but it still didn’t work.

What finally did it was giving my user Write and Modify permissions to C:\Program Files\Tor Browser\Browser (as well as R&E, List, Read). (Even though I was already in a group (Administrators) that had such permissions.)

I assume your problem is now solved because you went about it a different way.

The correct command was

sc create tor start= auto binPath="C:\Program Files\Tor Browser\Browser\TorBrowser\Tor\tor.exe -nt-service"

Yours was missing a \ before Program.

So you could have done

sc delete tor

Then repeated the initial command.


Well I have completed the portion of having Tor running in the background, several times actually now. I have that process figured out, but I still cannot click on Robosats and jump to the UI. I have deleted and re downloaded Bonjour a handful of times as well. Ive been this way and that so much I don’t know what else could be incorrect.
I get the "Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site. We can’t connect to the server at 37grunwm…onion.
When I restart RObosats I get the “Alert Attention: Your browser must have Tor support to use this service.”
When I check Services, tor is running.

What else can I do?

Firstly, having Tor run in the background as a service is only necessary for certain advanced tasks. It sounds like you don’t really need to go through this optional process at all, and could just use Tor Browser itself for accessing your different web UIs, especially if it’s Robosats.

If you are keen on running the background service, for something else, I assume, I’d probably start over and go slowly through everything again.

Ok. I am running Bitcoin Core, BTCpay server, Core Lightning, electrs, LND, Mempool, Ride the lightning, SearXNG, Vaultwarden and robo for now. I’m not advanced here, so what would say are the tasks that would necessitate Tor in the background, I assumed all the above would be the reason to. If I am wrong and you don’t believe its necessary then all is well. Otherwise I will go slowly through it. Its very possible I’ve missed something.